Far north coast surf lifesavers have achieved top honours and brought home a big share of the awards at the annual Surf Life Saving NSW Awards of Excellence presented in Sydney on Saturday night. Club, Country Athlete, Coach, Team and Junior Lifesaver of the Year awards were all taken out by the far north coast.
Ballina Lighthouse and Lismore SLSC won the prestigious Club of the Year award.
Club president Kris Beavis was thrilled with the win, in particular after the challenge of patrolling out of containers for nearly a decade. ‘It’s awesome for a country club to win and it’s definitely the highlight of our year,’ Kris said. ‘It is a credit to the nippers, members and the patrols for all their hard work.’
Joshua Brown from Byron Bay SLSC was named Country Athlete of the Year. Josh, who won four medals at the 2012 Aussie Champs, was ecstatic to win and his dad Darron was understandably proud.
‘Josh’s organisational skills are exceptional; he is very academic and works hard and I’m sure that surf life saving has something to do with that. Josh has worked hard to achieve all of this.’
The under-15s age group, again from Byron Bay SLSC, took out the Team of the Year award. This team has an extremely impressive record, but what set them apart was their wider commitment to surf life saving. Collectively the group performed an impressive 538 patrol hours.
Age manager Darron Brown says he has a great bunch of kids and some of them have been together since Nippers. ‘They are a close group of friends, who stick together and put in lots of work. They have picked up new members of the group from swimming clubs and these kids are now also surf club members because they wanted to be part of this team.’
Coach of the Year was awarded to Glen Lawrence from Byron Bay SLSC. Glen is a level-3 coach and has been the head coach of Byron Bay SLSC for the past 25 years. Glen has been instrumental in a stellar season for the club with success at branch, state and national level.
Male Junior Lifesaver of the Year was awarded to Harrison Murphy of Lennox Head SLSC earlier this year and he received his award on Saturday. He was selected from a field of 22 state finalists who participated in the Junior Lifesaver of the Year development camp.
More than 350 of Surf Life Saving’s most outstanding lifesavers, athletes, coaches and administrators gathered in Sydney on Saturday night to celebrate the enormous contribution of volunteers and clubs from across NSW.